March 2014

Decorating Styles Simplified Did you know that there is a simple way to think about decorating styles? Although there are hundreds of styles out there, most can be neatly grouped into four major categories. These are: 1.The Casual Style 2.The Traditional Style 3.The Formal Style 4.The Modern Style Knowing which style appeals to you most can help you when you shop for home products or when you work with your designer. You can even mix the styles brilliantly within the same space. The trick is to choose most of your elements from one major style, and to add or accent that style with elements from another category. Just make sure you have something that ties it all together, such as color or the historic era represented. The Casual Style is homey and comfortable. Furnishings are oversized. Everyday items are used for accessories, such as birdhouses, jars, baskets, and books. Wood finishes are mostly light and medium toned, and wood is sometimes painted. There is a lot of mixing of fabrics and patterns. The overall mood is one of feeling at home. The Formal Style is elegant and stately. Furniture is often tall and stained in dark, polished finishes. Heavy trimmings adorn window treatments and upholstered pieces. Accessories use materials such as crystal, marble, and porcelain, and they frequently show up in pairs to create balance. Antiques and fine reproductions work well in these spaces. The overall feeling is one of grandness. The Traditional Style is a perfect blend of the casual and the formal styles. It reflects understated elegance. Furnishings have classic lines and simple detail. There is often a mix of dark wood finishes...

February 2014

Illuminate Your Interior Design with Lighting Interior lighting is one of the most important components of any decorating plan. Proper lighting will add depth, warmth, and mood to a space. And it serves a functional purpose, as well. Lighting should be chosen to match the use or purpose that it will serve. There are four basic types of interior lighting.  They are: Task Lighting Accenting Lighting Ambiance Lighting Kinetic Lighting Task lighting illuminates work or task areas and provides light for reading, sewing, hobbies, cooking, games, and focused activities. Accent lighting is direct light focused at select surfaces. It is used to draw attention to a particular item such as art, and therefore it adds to the beauty of a space. Ambient lighting is the overall illumination. It provides general lighting and sets the mood. It also helps to define the perimeters of a space. Kinetic Lighting is light that moves, such as flickering candle light or the glow given off by a lit fireplace. It adds effect and drama to a space. In addition to accomplishing a specific mood with lighting, it is important that every seating area in a space has a lighting source for tasks. This is where table lamps come in very handy. Table lamps are not only functional, but beautiful as well. Lamp bases and lamp shades can be mixed and match to add to the overall design plan. A Few Quick Lighting Tips: If a room seems closed in or cramped, let in the sun shine! Choose treatments that simply frame the window, rather than covering it up. Use sheer fabrics that allow light to enter. This will warm up the...

January 2014

How Are Your Bones? When you are starting a new design project, the first thing you must do is assess the bones of your space. The bones of a room are the shape and details that are a part of its structure. Unless you are remodeling, there are limits on what you can do with the shape and architectural interests of a room. The best thing to do is to enhance the positive elements in this category, and camouflage, hide, or downplay the negativeelements. The bones include the ceiling, all walls, archways and shapes of doorways, doors, built-ins, fireplaces, moldings and baseboards, and unusual elements such as stone or tongue and groove walls. You must first look closely at each of these elements, and, considering the function of the room, determine which features should be embellished, accented, hidden, or played down. Most homeowners find this easier to do with the help of a professional. The very best way to begin a good diagnosis of a room is to remove all of the furnishings. If it is not feasible (or desirable) to remove all of the furnishings and accessories from your room, it’s even more important to seek the help of an interior designer. A professional designer has the experience to see the bones for what they are, and make decisions for enhancing and improving the look of the room. If you are starting a new design project for a room, and you are not planning to remodel the space, you will have a better result if you remember this: The bones are there to stay, and you must design or decorate with the bones in...